CARLTON will press ahead with its planned Ikon Park redevelopment, despite the financial implications of the global COVID-19 pandemic.
The Blues have remained steadfast in not adjusting their five-year strategic plan that was launched in March 2019 in the wake of the coronavirus crisis, saying strategies to clear historical debt, build revenue and complete their Ikon Park masterplan remain on track.
Carton had been set for a $5 million profit in 2020, which would have ensured the club was debt-free for the first time since 1996. However, the Blues are confident the financial pitfalls of the game's suspension period will not have lasting impacts on their aim to clear debt.
It has already received $35 million in state and federal government funding for its Ikon Park redevelopment, which will go towards improving training facilities for both the AFL and AFLW sides, as well as administration areas focused on the growth of its women's program.
Meanwhile, it will also re-prioritise the key areas of its strategic plan with the focus still first and foremost on improving on-field performance.
"Our Ikon Park masterplan will have the first fully integrated facility in the League," Carlton's CEO Cain Liddle told AFL.com.au.
"Our men's and women's changerooms will be right beside each other, they'll be the same size, they'll go out and share the same aquatic facilities, the same indoor training facilities, the same gym.
"The strategic plan that we launched and those 10 key targets, we still have absolute focus on them.
"What this has done is it has required a need for them to be prioritised. There are competing priorities, undoubtedly, in this crisis.
"But the board very, very clearly have said to me that football performance is our No.1 priority. That comes above everything else."
Carlton will honour its members during three games this season, partnering with major sponsor Hyundai for their 'Back Our 'Baggers' campaign where member names will be placed above player numbers on the back of guernseys for specific matches.
It is a way the club hopes to honour the 67,000 members who have remained with the club throughout the global COVID-19 pandemic.
"The support has been incredible," Liddle said.
"I made a comment pre-COVID that our members had picked us up, put us on their back and carried us forward over the last 12 months. Never did I think they would literally have to do that, but that's exactly what they have done."